Monday 30 April 2018

Marshall hopes for better play off fortune

Mark Marshall made a significant contribution on Saturday, particularly in the first half, with a number of decisive interventions. In part this may reflect the additional sessions he put in with a fitness coach after being dropped from the team.

Marshall has seen the team he played for beaten by Millwall in three previous play off encounters and is hoping it will be a case of fourth time lucky: Ending play off misery

Sunday 29 April 2018

Koala bear rumour

Two sources (not the Rickster) told me yesterday that four Australians were in the ground. They were not in the directors' box, but incognito (possibly in East Stand box, but this has not been verified).

It was also suggested that the takeover might go through this week. We have had so many false alarms that I don't want to hold out any hope and the mood is much better anyway, as shown by the attendance and the passion of the crowd who kept up a wall of noise.

Saturday 28 April 2018

Passion and commitment see Charlton through

A determined Charlton beat Blackburn 1-0 at The Valley this afternoon to keep their bid for a play off place on track. Plymouth play at Scunthorpe on Tuesday and are then away to Gillingham on Saturday. If they lose at Scunthorpe, a draw at Rochdale would be enough (even a defeat might see Charlton advance on goal difference).

This was a passionate and committed performance from Bowyer's boys in which everyone put in a shift. This was my first visit to The Valley since my illness and Bowyer (and Johnnie Jackson) have them playing to a far higher standard than was achieved under 'Gobby'.

The visitors took their time to get going and Charlton went ahead in the first half through Jason Pearce. The Addicks were in charge up to the break with Mark Marshall contributing some good defensive work and some other neat moves. After the break Blackburn stepped up a gear and Charlton were under the cosh at times, but they held up under the pressure even in seven minutes added on. This was largely due to an injury to the unfortunate Lewis Page who had to be stretchered off.

Blackburn were rather physical, often resorting to a trip to halt an advancing player, but the referee stood for no nonsense, appropriately awarding free kicks and a number of yellow cards.

Charlie Mulgrew placed a 12th-minute free-kick well wide of the target, but it was the Addicks who got their noses in front seven minutes later. Ahmed Kashi drilled in a shot from just outside the area which took a huge deflection off Pearce on its way past Rovers goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler for what proved to be the only goal of the game.

Ben Amos had to be alert at the other end to tip behind Mulgrew's corner which appeared to be heading into the net.

Richie Smallwood burst through just after the break and was denied by Amos before Mark Marshall scrambled the danger clear, with Mulgrew heading agonisingly wide from the resulting corner.

Amos was called into action again twice in the space of a minute to keep out Jack Payne on both occasions as Blackburn continued their bright start to the second half. Amos was named man of the match by the Football League Paper. One of the challenges in the summer will be to replace him.

Pearce made a crucial block from substitute Danny Graham's shot and - from the corner which followed - Dominic Samuel saw his 78th-minute header cannon back off the crossbar.

Amos was a busy man and made another fine stop from Samuel, pushing away his 82nd-minute shot.

But despite Rovers' dominance, it was Charlton who almost grabbed a second when a counter attack ended with Leutwiler producing a super save from Jake Forster-Caskey's goal-bound strike.

After the game, there was a parade of players and Johnnie Jackson addressed the crowd, thanking the many managers who has served under, but making a special mention of Sir Chris Powell.

A thought for the 85 year old fan who attended his last game at The Valley today. He can no longer manage the journey from Peterborough. If I manage the journey from Leamington until I am 85, I will be doing well. He first saw Charlton play in the 1944 wartime cup final (which we won).

The train back from Marylebone was full of rowdy Blews after their defeat at QPR, but the British Transport Police were on the train.

Blackburn to rest key players

Blackburn Rovers are to rest some key players for this afternoon's encounter with Charlton. They have now secured promotion and in the last few weeks have had to play some 'walking wounded' who now need to be rested: Key players rested

Friday 27 April 2018

Blackburn decided our fate 60 years ago

Charlton need to beat Blackburn tomorrow to maintain their play off hopes, but sixty years ago today they prevented the Addicks from returning to the first division at the first opportunity following relegation. If a 3-4 defeat had been 4-4, Charlton would have gone up. They stayed down and that shaped the fate of the club for the next thirty years.

Some older hands thought there was something odd about the way that game went, but you can read an account of it hee: AS Trust

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Johnnie Jackson could be future Charlton manager

Jordan Cousins reckons that Johnnie Jackson has what it takes to be a future Charlton manager and will benefit from sitting behind Lee Bowyer: Jackson's credentials

I liked the reference to 'incoming owners'. They seem to have 'gone bush'. It's over a year since we first heard about Australian interest in Charlton.

Cousins is certainly doing a good job of promoting his summer soccer camp in Greenwich.

Monday 23 April 2018

Jordan Cousins would like to come back one day

Former Addick and QPR player Jordan Cousins would like to come back to The Valley in some capacity later in his career. He grew up in a house five minutes from The Valley and is holding his summer soccer camp in Greenwich: Wants Valley return

Home truths at The Valley

Richard Cawley of the SLP reports: 'Josh Magennis has refused to go into detail about the “home truths” dished out by Lee Bowyer when he took caretaker charge of Charlton Athletic. The underperforming Addicks looked big outsiders to secure a League One play-off spot when boss Karl Robinson quit for Oxford last month. But Charlton have taken 16 points from Bowyer’s eight games in charge and are fifth in the table after Saturday’s edgy 1-0 victory at Portsmouth.

Magennis found himself out of the starting line-up until the last two matches but scored in a 2-0 win at Shrewsbury a week ago as well as providing the assist for Nicky Ajose’s goal at Fratton Park. 'The best thing with Bow is how brutally honest he is,” said the Northern Ireland international. “He tells you how it is. There were a few home truths when the gaffer left and he said he needed to change it up.'

'Some things are meant to be kept in-house. We’re all adults and if you can’t take a bit of criticism then you’re in the wrong game. I’ve got a great amount of respect for everybody, it needs to be kept behind closed doors.'

'Being out wasn’t nice but the biggest agenda isn’t whether I play 90 minutes – the main aim is promotion. We know that Wembley is well within our grasp. There is so much at stake for everybody and we have a genuine chance of getting there, not many people get to say that.'

Charlton definitely have more steel since Bowyer’s appointment on a temporary basis until the end of the campaign. 'We have got very gifted players but sometimes ability isn’t enough,” said Magennis. 'You have to be ready to go to war. Charlton are a big scalp. Charlton is a massive team – you can see that with our travelling support and at The Valley. Bow expects high intensity. That’s how he was as a player – in people’s faces – and he doesn’t expect any less now. Coming off wrecked is a bare minimum.'

I have reproduced the article in full rather than providing a link as the SLP site is responding slowly after recent problems.

Saturday 21 April 2018

Vital win for Charlton

Charlton beat Portsmouth 1-0 at Fratton Park this afternoon through a Nicky Ajose first half goal in front of 2,448 away supporters who were in fine voice, his first goal for the Addicks since 2016. Play off rivals Plymouth Argyle lost at Northampton.

On 16 minutes Ajose did good work down the left and turned provider for Magennis, but it was just taken off his toes. Four minutes later a Forster-Caskey shot was deflected wide. From the corner a Forster-Caskey shot was scrambled off the line.

Charlton were clearly the better side. They were winning possession and broke forward a number of times. They just needed better decision-making in the final third.

A Fosu volley went wide. The home fans were getting frustrated, On 33 minutes Pompey had their first shot on goal, but it was well wide.

On 40 minutes Ajose made it 1-0. He took advantage of a Magennis flick, the keeper came out and Ajose slotted past him.

Pompey came out strongly in the second half and won a series of corners. Charlton had to dig in, but stood up to the test with Amos in command of his goal. Fosu had to be withdrawn on 57 minutes with a hamstring problem and DaSilva came on for his 50th Charlton appearance. One minute later Reeves hit the post with a volley.

On 60 minutes a great Konsa tackle prevented a Pompey goal. Page was injured and was replaced by Marshall. An Ajose effort on 71 minutes was blocked. A Forster-Caskey shot was deflected on 76 minutes for a Charlton corner

On 80 minutes Amos made a good save in a crowded box. Six minutes were added on, extended to seven, but Marshall won a late free kick by their goal.

Friday 20 April 2018

Tuesday 17 April 2018

To the Londoners 2-0

Charlton were back in the play off places tonight after an unanticipated 2-0 win at promotion chasing Shrewsbury Town. The result leaves Paul Hurst's Shrewsbury five points adrift of the automatic promotion places with four games remaining.

Chances were in short supply at either end in a goalless first half, with Ben Godfrey firing a shot from outside the penalty area off target for Shrewsbury. Then Aristote Nsiala headed a Shaun Whalley free-kick wide as the hosts pushed for a breakthrough.

Charlton were first to threaten in the second half when Jake Forster-Caskey's corner was headed over by Magennis. Shrewsbury quickly surged forward and substitute Abo Eisa's cross-shot was pushed away by goalkeeper Ben Amos.

Tarique Fosu's well-struck shot for Charlton was tipped over by Dean Henderson before visiting skipper Pearce headed a Forster-Caskey corner just wide. But Pearce was more accurate when another chance presented itself in the 74th minute, heading in a Forster-Caskey free-kick from the left from close range to break the deadlock. The Addicks doubled their advantage deep into stoppage time when Magennis lifted the ball home following a sliced clearance from Henderson.

There is now everything to play for in a massive game at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Solly out for rest of season

Chris Solly is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. He will undergo keyhole surgery later this week: Chris Solly

Sunday 15 April 2018

Top six finish still on says Bowyer

Lee Bowyer reckons that a top six finish for Charlton is still on: they could beat Shrewsbury, Portsmouth and Blackburn: Bold promotion claim

There is something to be said for being positive, but each of these teams is a formidable opponent and Charlton haven't really looked up for it.

Bowyer reckons that the boos at the end of yesterday's game were directed at the referee.

Saturday 14 April 2018

Down the Football League we go

Charlton fell back to 8th in League One after a 0-1 defeat by Scunthorpe this afternoon. This was the position I forecast at the beginning of the season.

Ivan Toney struck the only goal of the game as Scunthorpe moved into the League One play-off zone. The 1-0 win lifted the Iron up to fifth spot in the table, two points ahead of the lacklustre Addicks.

The game sprung into life in the 20th minute with a save at either end, Ben Amos first denying Hakeeb Adelakun and then Iron goalkeeper Matt Gilks thwarting Nicky Ajose moments later.

Scunthorpe made the breakthrough in the 31st minute when Adelakun beat the offside trap and burst clear on the right, squaring a low ball into the danger zone for Toney to tap home from six yards. Josh Morris blazed a stoppage time free-kick over the crossbar from just outside the box as Scunthorpe finished the first half strongly.

Toney produced a super save from Amos five minutes after the restart when meeting Rory McArdle's free-kick and unleashing a powerful volley which the Charlton keeper did well to tip over. Jake Forster-Caskey glanced a header wide and Ajose saw a curling effort fly just over as Charlton finally began to ask some questions.

Adelakun was only denied by a crucial block from Patrick Bauer and once more in the 71st minute when Amos had to save his goalbound attempt. There were late penalty appeals from the hosts as Ajose and Bauer both claimed to have been pulled back in the box within the space of 60 seconds. But both were ignored by referee Graham Salisbury and even though Ben Reeves and Tariqe Fosu went close at the death, in the end this was a far more comfortable victory than the scoreline suggests.

Friday 13 April 2018

Scunthorpe will be worried says Bowyer

Scunthorpe will be worried about playing at The Valley tomorrow given Charlton's home record says Lee Bowyer: Must win game

The Iron have been on a dreadful run, winning just one game in the last fifteen: Massive game

However, one fan has observed that new manager bounces don't last that long and teams revert to the mean with the Charlton squad being just not good enough.

The CAS Trust Preview thinks that a draw looks likely which would mean that we would be out of the top six when we face Shrewsbury on Tuesday: Tariqe the key

Forster-Caskey's rallying call

Jake Forster-Caskey is thriving in a new deep lying midfield role and has issued a rallying call to fans for tomorrow's key match with Scunthorpe: Stick with players

The last Voice of the Valley of the season will be on sale before the game. There has been a range of issues for the usual suspects to get their vinegar stained teeth into. As always, if you order by 3 p.m. today a copy of the latest issue can be sent to your home to arrive on Saturday morning (we have just heard that the linotype machine has broken, so postal copies will not arrive until Monday at the earliest): Order a copy

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Disappointment for Charlton

Charlton went down 1-0 to AFC Wimbledon tonight. Although they remain in 6th place, it was a missed opportunity to use their game in hand to consolidate their hold on a play off place.

The Addicks lacked a cutting edge with Zyro disappointing up front. The closest Charlton came was when they hit the post following a corner on 72 minutes.

The Wimbledon goal came right at the end of the second half through Taylor when Bauer slipped in possession. The home side then dug in defensively in the second half. Charlton used all their substitutes (Magennis, Marshall, Ajose) to no avail.

745 Addicks witnessed Lee Bowyer's first defeat as manager.

Lee Bowyer has said that he was not happy with Zyro's performance and has told him so: Critical of forward

A crucial game

Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley has called on the club's supporters to rally behind them at the Cherry Red Records Stadium tonight: 'We are going to play against a very good team on Tuesday and we are going to need all the help we can get. They are a different team to the one we beat in the cup. They've had a lot of turnaround, obviously the manager has come in, and they are playing a different formation. Their last four games have reflected that. I've watched their games and they've been very good.'

Wimbledon are currently one point above the relegation zone and sixth from bottom in the form table (Charlton are 7th). They have won seven games, drawn four and lost eight at home.

The Times gave Charlton a 16 per cent chance of promotion last Saturday. To improve that figure we need to win our game in hand tonight.

Neal Ardley has told Richard Cawley that Charlton are a bigger attacking threat under Lee Bowyer: Attacking threat

Monday 9 April 2018

Amos praises Bowyer's philosophy

Ben Amos has given Lee Bowyer the credit for Charlton's revival: Bowyer deserves plaudits

I think he’s brought his own philosophy,” said the stopper. 'He’s gone two up top for large parts. He’s kept it quite simple, not over complicated anything.'

For me Bowyer has a clear vision of what he wants to do and how he wants to do it.

Saturday 7 April 2018

Addicks remain in play off places

Charlton remained in the play off places after they continued their unbeaten run with a 1-1 draw at Bristol Rovers this afternoon. 927 Addicks were present.

On seven minutes the keeper fumbled an Ajose shot, leading to a Charlton corner. On 11 minutes Amos had to dive to his right to make a great save from Harrison's low drive.

The Gas went ahead on 21 minutes. Pearce headed back to Amos and Bennett pounced on the loose ball.

On the half hour a curling shot from Ajose was tipped over the bar. Aribo headed the corner just wide. Ben Reeves equalised for the Addicks on 45 minutes, his shot taking a deflection.

On 53 minutes Reeves tried from distance, but Slocombe kept the ball out with a diving save. Zyro was over from a tight angle on 64 minutes. Ajose was replaced by Mavididi on 64 minutes.

On 68 minutes Page put in a great cross, but Zyro couldn't connect. On 84 minutes two Charlton efforts were cleared off the line. A late Rovers corner in the last minute of time added on caused a scare, but the ball went over.

The report from Louis Mendez can be found here: West Country point

Friday 6 April 2018

Gas playing for their future

With the play offs now out of reach, players at Bristol Rovers have to play for their future at the club: Everyone has to play for their future

The players have been kicking lumps out of each other in training which hasn't pleased supremo Darrell Clarke too much given his injury worries. But he has promised home fans that his players 'will put on a performance' tomorrow against Charlton.

The man in the middle will be Robert Lewis. He was the referee who had to be stretchered off after clattering into Josh Magennis.

Can Lee Bowyer emulate Chris Powell and achieve four straight wins in his spell as manager? Bristol Rovers will be no pushovers, despite having one of the worst defensive records in League One: CAST preview

Odds: Bristol Rovers, 9/5; Draw, 21/10; Charlton, 13/8.

Thursday 5 April 2018

Ajose is loving life under Bowyer

Nicky Ajose says that he never wanted to go out on loan from Charlton. He is loving life under Lee Bowyer. Not surprising, as he had just five starts in sixteen months under Karl Robinson, and has had almost as many under Bowyer: Ajose interview

Fosu out for two weeks

Tariqe Fosu will be out for two weeks with a groin injury, but Ahmed Kashi is returning. Lee Bowyer is in confident mood and considers that he has 'a good squad of players'. One might add that he knows how to motivate and organise them: Injury news

Boss Bowyer reckons that Joe Aribo is a great player and will be capable of playing at a higher level. Bowyer has been working with him for over a year: Joe Aribo

Bowyer has thanked Roland for trusting him to act as caretaker manager until the end of the season: Thanks Roland

Bowyer said: 'The biggest thing for me is the way the players are competing and working hard as a team and showing a togetherness.'

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Successful duo to stay on until end of season

Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson are to stay in charge of Charlton until the end of the season. This has been made a condition of sale of the club and is a very welcome decision.

It does, however, imply that the sale of the club is not as close as had been thought.

Some puzzles in parent company results

Baton Ltd., the parent company of Charlton Athletic, have published their results online through Companies House. By and large they are the same as for the club, but Kieran Maguire of the Price of Football notes: 'Sold players (Lookman etc) at a profit of £16.2 million in 2016/17, but only received £405,000 in cash. Could have sold on credit, but debtors are only £3.7 million. This begs the question "What has happened to the other £12 million"?'

He also notes, 'CEO Katrin Miere’s salary included in "Key management compensation" total of £966k. This figure rose 15 per cent in year compared to overall wage fall of 21 per cent.'

Rick Everitt has pointed out that compensation to Russell Slade is included in this figure. He was paid more than other coaches hired by Roland.

EFL's star of the day

That was the accolade given to Joe Aribo and Louis Mendez has interviewed him. He says that Lee Bowyer is helping him to get goals: Charlton's fine form

Charlton made the second highest level of payments to agents and intermediaries between February 2017 and January 2018, £425,466 (Blackburn Rovers paid out £764k). Money well spent, Katrien?

Charlton Athletic Holdings Ltd. has now submitted its annual report to Companies House. This has been done under the small companies regime, so the information provided is limited. It defines itself as a property investment company and the land on which the Valley stands together with that at Sparrows Lane is valued at £11.7m.

Tuesday 3 April 2018

Pardew may be the worst manager in West Brom's history

Alan Pardew may be the one of the worst, if not the worst, manager in the history of West Bromwich Albion reckons local paper Express and Star: One of the worst

This is a man who cannot even keep hold of his own jacket. Yet last evening he was being lauded on Radio 5 as a 'successful manager'. It is interesting that his time at Charlton is never mentioned in these appraisals.

Monday 2 April 2018

Charlton back in play off places

Charlton are back in the play off places after Lee Bowyer's side recorded a convincing 3-1 win over Rotherham United at The Valley this afternoon.

The Millers almost led through their first attack in the opening minute when Will Vaulks struck the crossbar from the edge of the area when Joe Newell's cut-back was deflected into his path.

After Tariqe Fosu then fired over from a free-kick from similar range, both teams struggled to create until Zyro was gifted the 28th-minute chance from which he scored. Under an aimless long ball and despite little pressure, Josh Emmanuel clumsily headed possession into the forward's path where, from 20 yards, Zyro controlled with his left foot before shooting with his right beyond goalkeeper Marek Rodak and into the bottom-left corner.

Charlton's second came in the 54th minute when Jake Forster-Caskey curled towards Aribo from a left-wing free-kick, and the unchallenged midfielder nodded inside the right post from in front of goal.

Victory was then put beyond doubt in the 65th minute when Aribo played a one-two with Nicky Ajose from just inside of Rotherham's half before racing clear and powerfully scoring the ninth goal of Bowyer's reign in off the crossbar.

Paul Warne's team responded 12 minutes later through Richard Wood's untidy, close-range finish from a rebound, but it was only a consolation.

Report from Louis Mendez here: Bowyer's buoyant start continues

Sunday 1 April 2018

£57m owed to Roland's company

The 2016-17 accounts for Charlton Athletic have now been published and may be viewed online on the Companies House website. They show that £57.7m was owed to the parent company, Staprix NV. Rick Everitt suggests that the current figure may be nearer £70m. £695k was paid on interest on these loans in the financial year.

Turnover fell from £12.1m to £7.6m. The largest item was matchday income, but this was down from £4.8m to £3.2m. The report notes, 'The 33% decrease on prior year arises to the decrease in attendances from the 15/16 season following relegation from the Championship and some continued fan discontent leading to reduced purchases at The Valley on matchdays.'

Central distributions from the Premier League and the English Football League fell by 64 per cent as a result of relegation from the Championship. There was a one off £0.2m parachute payment. Commercial income decline by 2 per cent to £1.3m.

Staff costs fell from £14.0m to £11.1m. This was not far short of 150 per cent of turnover, a worryingly high ratio.

There was a profit on player sales of £16.2m which it is admitted is unlikely to be repeated for a long time.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt commented, '[The] accounts confirm that Duchatelet and Meire had halved income from spectators three years after taking over. Turnover lowest since 1998, all-time record operating loss of £14.3m while paying same wages as 2014 to finish 13th in L1.' He considers that it represents an abysmal trading record with poor cost controls.

Ahearne-Grant praises Kewell

Karlan Ahearne-Grant has told the Football League Paper that his career-best form is down to one man - Harry Kewell. Ahearne-Grant has scored eight goals in nine games heading into the Easter weekend.

'Harry's a huge inspiration,' said Ahearne-Grant. 'He's a big character too. He's my manager of the moment and he knows what it's like to feed players confidence. It's good to work with him. It's been a pleasure. I think he can definitely go far.'

Ahearne-Grant said that he and Kewell won't be distracted by reports that the Australian is going to take over at Charlton from Lee Bowyer.

Fosu praises formation change

Tariqe Fosu has praised the formation change introduced by Lee Bowyer, replacing the 4-2-3-1 favoured by Karl Robinson with a 4-4-2: Rewards of formation change

We were told by Robinson that 4-4-2 was not possible with the players available, but it hasn't been a problem for Bowyer.

Fosu praise Bowyer for giving the team the freedom to play and not putting them under undue pressure.